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The Ultimate Dorm Checklist for College Students [Free Printable]

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College Packing List Hip2Save

Are you ready for college moving day?

Print out this free printable checklist of all the dorm essentials you’ll want to take along to college! Although every campus offers different amenities and has different rules, it’s SO much easier to remember the essentials while shopping, packing, and moving when you have a list like this! Then keep reading for more tips and tricks for finding just what you need.

To customize this list:

  • Select only the items that you want below.
  • Click on the Print icon at the bottom of this post.
  • Print a list with just those items!

Now if only finals were this easy! 🤣


big lots dorm apartment shopping finds — pom pom blanket

Where can I find the best college dorm items?

While we never say no to a great store (or sale), check your local Dollar Tree, Big Lots, Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, and even Amazon. Some stores will even ship directly to the dorm!

Hip Tip: Check with your specific college or university about what is (and is not) allowed, what is (and is not) provided, and what to expect when you get there. Many schools even provide the dimensions for dorm rooms, beds, and windows to give you a good idea of sizes you’ll need!


Bed & bath dorm essentials:

Get ready for college with this back to school moving checklist – a cart with sheets

Bed risers or blocks (for more space)

Toiletries (shampoo, toothpaste, etc)


Office & desk dorm supplies:

Get ready for college with this back to school moving checklist – a laptop on a desk

Printer (if not using center on campus)

Printer paper (if bringing a printer)

Camera (if not using cell phone)

School supplies (pens, pencils, paper, etc)


Dorm room items:

Get ready for college with this back to school moving checklist – assortment of window and desk fans


Laundry & dorm cleaning supplies:

Get ready for college with this back to school moving checklist – Tide, Tide Pods, and Bounce

Cleaning supplies (dish soap, etc)

Quarters (if no laundry card)


Dorn kitchen & household items:

Get ready for college with this back to school moving checklist – Rubbermaid food storage container

Travel coffee mug (for taking to class)

Hot pot or coffee-maker (if allowed)

Microwave (if allowed)

Small fridge (if allowed)


Other important documents:

Get ready for college with this back to school moving checklist – checkbook and pen closeup

Insurance cards

Credit/Debit/Prepaid card

List of emergency contacts

Social Security card

Bank info/checks (see this deal on checks!)


Miscellaneous dorm essentials:

Get ready for college with this back to school moving checklist – Duracell batteries


Join The Discussion

Comments 9

  1. Robin

    This is so helpful!!! College Dorm shopping can really add up so, I appreciate all the deals you find this summer!

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      I am so glad you can use this, Robin!

  2. Dee

    Packing up our son’s room at the end of his freshman year, we walked past so much stuff that was never used, just abandoned in the hallways. Brand new coffee makers, unopened food in care package boxes, storage systems still in the box, etc. So, before you go overboard and buy everything your student might possibly need, spend money on the things that they will use on the daily and add in the extras as they need them. It will make moving day that much simpler. We put money into his bed with a nice mattress topper and bought a good nice rolling office style chair (because the wooden chairs in the dorms were crap).

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Great idea! Thanks, Dee!

  3. Evan

    Thxs! This is helpful & yes there is tons of waste. My school has free laundry & a Keurig so I bought detergent packs (he will take one bag/mon) & kcups. He will be home every other wkend so he can refresh as needed. Our dorms also don’t have twin XL they vary so double check!

  4. AP

    My kids are 9 and 10. I’m actually thinking of starting now and storing everything so I can REALLY take my time to find the best deals. If for some reason they don’t go to college, I can sell the lot of gift it to someone else.

    • AP

      *or

  5. K

    Go to dollar tree and buy small trash cans there, closet organizers, small detergents that are easy to carry to the washers, dryer sheets, small snacks, mugs, plastic wrap, kitchen utensils, dishwasher liquid, small trash bags, and cleaning supplies. Makes moving into a dorm a lot more convenient and cheaper! I bought a small trashcan there and FILLED it w dollar tree items for my cousin and he said he used every single thing in it! Also kohl’s has wonderful memory foam mattress toppers by the BIG one company that are great plus twin XL bed sets for extremely cheap from the same company!

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for all the ideas, K!

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